From AnthroWiki

A horn is an outgrowth on the head of horn-bearers and rhinoceroses, which forms as a hollow covering over a bone cone, which is covered with a layer of skin that is well supplied with blood. Horns and claws form where the external astral-etheric forces radiate into the animal organism, shaping it deep into the digestive region. In contrast to the antlers, they grow for a whole lifetime and can be detached very easily.

From a physiological point of view, keratinisation is a process that takes place in the epidermis and in various mucous membranes of animal and human organisms, in which epithelial cells are transformed into horn cells (corneocytes) via horn-forming cells (keratinocytes). The horn substance, which consists of dead cells filled with keratin in this way, is harder and heavier than wood, but lighter and more elastic than bone.

In biodynamic agriculture, cow horns are used as suitable containers for maturing biodynamic preparations because of their ability to capture astral-etheric forces. In some countries, for legal reasons, the horn is regularly removed, ostensibly because of suspected risk of injury, so that the horn preparation may have to be imported from other parts of the world.

„The cow has horns in order to send into itself that which is to form astral-etheric, that which is to penetrate into the digestive organism, so that much work arises in the digestive organism precisely through the radiation which emanates from horns and claws. Whoever, therefore, wants to understand foot-and-mouth disease, that is, the effect of the peripheral on the digestive tract, must understand this connection. And our foot-and-mouth disease remedy is based on understanding this connection. Now, you see, in the horn you have something which, by its special nature and essence, is well suited to radiate the living and astral back into the inner life. You have something life-radiating, and even astral-radiating, in the horn. It is like this. If you were able to crawl around in the living cow's organism, you would, if you were inside the belly of the cow, smell how the astral-living flows inwards from the horns. With the claws this is the case in a similar way.“ (Lit.:GA 327, p. 97f)

The occult meaning of the horn

That which is caused by the etheric in man is called "head" in the occult language of the Apocalypse and also appears in this way to the clairvoyant eye. That which is physically effected in man by a member of the etheric body, on the other hand, is called "horn".

„That which is predisposed in man from the etheric is called, in the language of the apocalyptic mysteries, "head". By this is meant, therefore, that which appears to the clairvoyant eye preferably as a head. But that which is physically effected in man by some member of the etheric body is called a "horn". In the language of the mysteries, a "horn" is a very mysterious thing. That which, for example, has been physically effected in man by his having once passed through that race of the Atlantean time in which the lion was typically present as a group soul, that is called a horn. So the physical that comes from any member of the etheric body is called a "horn". A horn, for example, is the organ which is the outer physical expression of something etheric.

Now I will speak to you concretely. All physical organs of the human being are actually condensed etheric organs, have emerged from the condensed etheric body. Let us consider the human heart. It is a physical organ today, but it is condensed out of an etheric organ. This human heart of today received its disposition at that time, when man passed through the group-soul-ness, which is designated by the lion. So the heart is the "horn" of the lion's head, for when the etheric body was so far advanced that the human being appeared with the group soul symbolised in the lion's head, the disposition was formed which later became the physical heart. The present-day human physical heart developed out of this disposition of the lion-man. So, while we trace the origin of the etheric body back to the transformation of one "head" into another, to the addition of one head to another, we understand the human physical body as the addition of one "horn" to another. In fact, the human etheric body consists of "heads", the human physical body of "horns". This is the language of the Mysteries. All the organs of the human being are formed out of the etheric body, are therefore all 'horns'.“ (Lit.:GA 104, p. 188f)

„In fact, people who fail to absorb the Christ principle into themselves will also appear in astral form. But because they have formed their instincts in such a way that they have, so to speak, held on to the animal group soul, the corresponding instincts will appear in the astral body which the people will then have, in the form of horn-like continuations. It is a real form.

I will explain by means of an organ how it comes about that the human being who does not absorb the Christ principle into himself actually appears with horns when the earth will have spiritualised itself. Take the organ of the human larynx and the trachea. You are continually breathing in and out air in this trachea. This is an activity that the human being carries out. In man who is spiritualised, this activity is in the service of the spiritual, but in man who does not take his inclination, his order to the Christ-principle, it is in relation to the old forces belonging to the seven heads. So let us put it in the case that we draw it schematically in this way:

Drawing from GA 104, p. 216
Drawing from GA 104, p. 216

The air is constantly going in through the larynx from the outside. But you know that the astral body of the human being surrounds it. The stream of air that enters will always be in connection with the astral. When the earth is spiritualised, it becomes evident whether the breathing of a man was a servant of the Christ-Principle or whether it was a servant of the lower forces which were already in the world before the Christ-Principle. If it was a servant of the Christ-principle, then it loses that form which adapts itself to the body of today. Man himself then has the power to transform everything that is astral into a higher, spiritualised form. If he does not accept the Christ-principle, then he is unable to bring out of this carnal form that which is adapted to the present fleshly form. And the consequence of this is that, after the fleshly has fallen away, has disappeared, after the physical larynx has gone, this form of the astral body remains, which is always inserting itself with the breath into the larynx. This form remains in the form of a horn. Wherever the outer astral forces enter and leave the human being, they remain adapted to the previous animal form when the human being passes over into the astral form, that is, the human being then appears with true astral horns. These are real astral forms, they correspond exactly to the penetration of the astral substantiality during life on earth. It is so that in these pictures we are not presented with arbitrary symbols, but that they have the true form of that which once appears.“ (Lit.:GA 104, p. 216f)



References to the work of Rudolf Steiner follow Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works (CW or GA), Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach/Switzerland, unless otherwise stated.
Email: verlag@steinerverlag.com URL: www.steinerverlag.com.
Index to the Complete Works of Rudolf Steiner - Aelzina Books
A complete list by Volume Number and a full list of known English translations you may also find at Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works
Rudolf Steiner Archive - The largest online collection of Rudolf Steiner's books, lectures and articles in English.
Rudolf Steiner Audio - Recorded and Read by Dale Brunsvold
steinerbooks.org - Anthroposophic Press Inc. (USA)
Rudolf Steiner Handbook - Christian Karl's proven standard work for orientation in Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works for free download as PDF.